Rock, Paper, Scissors: Which Is a Perfume?

Dec 27 2012 Published by under Beauty

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Somehow I missed the debut of this perfume last summer. Paper Passion smells like aging tomes, like a trip through the stacks of the library in the pre-PDF era. It comes in a box that resembles a hollowed-out book.

Definitely a niche scent, but in an era with a Pizza Hut cologne, this essence is not that far out.

Someone suggested spritzing Paper Passion on an e-reader to get that retro "dead tree" experience.

Then I began wondering why paper has an odor, especially as it ages. A new pack of paper has a faint odor. Bound journals from the past decade smell completely different, as do old maps and documents.

Thanks to the internet, the answer is mine! Since paper ultimately comes from trees, it contains a variety of aromatic organic compounds:

The pleasant aromatic smell is due to aromatic compounds emitted mainly from papers made from ground wood which are characterised by their yellowish-brown colour.  They emit vanilla-like, sweetly fragrant vanillin, aromatic anisol and benzaldehyde, with fruity almond-like odor.  On the other hand, terpene compounds, deriving from rosin, which is used to make paper more impermeable to inks, contribute to the camphorous, oily and woody smell of books.  A mushroom odour is caused by some other, intensely fragrant aliphatic alcohols.

I think I will stick with my current scents; I feel no need to emit essence of library as I walk about. It's nice to know I could, though!

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